A conveyor belt fire brought local firefighters to a Michigan cement plant on Friday.
Fire crews responded at about 10:24 a.m. to Lafarge-North America’s Alpena Plant, where they encountered heavy smoke and flames, according to a news release from the Alpena Fire Department. Efforts were hampered because the portion of the conveyor where the fire occurred was 130 feet in the air, and there was no water supply other than what firefighters brought to the scene, the release said. A 100-foot aerial truck was used to provide an elevated water stream.
Efforts to put out a blaze at an Illinois underground coal mine continued over the weekend.
The work in part involves pumping water into Hillsboro Energy, LLC’s Deer Run Mine to extinguish a blaze that company officials said broke out July 14 in a tailgate section of a previously mined out area. According to MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere, the operator has reported pumping an estimated 15 million gallons of water into the mine.
NIOSH has issued a revision to an earlier information collection request to seek comments concerning its proposed virtual reality (VR) research project to train and assess emergency responders. The revision notifies the public of researchers’ intent to enlarge the number of participants. Read more »
A fire Monday evening forced the evacuation of Hillsboro Energy, LLC’s Deer Run Mine in Illinois.
According to an announcement released today by St. Louis-based Foresight Energy, LP, elevated carbon monoxide readings were detected around 7:30 p.m. All underground employees were safely evacuated and there were no injuries.
A fire that broke out a week ago at an Iowa underground sand mine was initially allowed to continue to burn to prevent injury to response personnel, but then reportedly was extinguished over the weekend.
Pattison Sand Co.’s failure to provide any status reports on the fire to this news source and MSHA’s slowness in furnishing updates led us to struggle to determine what was going on at the operator’s mine of the same name in Clayton County and to rely on what turned out to be conflicting and incomplete reports.
Faced with conflicting evidence between electrical experts from MSHA and a mine operator, an administrative law judge turned to the literature to determine whether a violation was likely to cause serious injury.
MSHA had written a violation of its 75.512 electrical standard as significant and substantial (S&S) because the agency maintained a shock from bare wires on the electrode holder of a welder could affect the heart and/or produce an injury from a miner’s involuntary reaction to being shocked. However, the operator asserted a miner would only feel a tingle.
An appeals court has let stand a ruling that a Pennsylvania company is engaged in the business of preparing coal, as defined in the Mine Act, and thus falls under MSHA’s jurisdiction.
The decision Friday by a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals went against Shamokin Filler Co., Inc., which argued it makes its anthracite coal products out of already processed coal, and, as such, falls outside MSHA’s purview.
A long-time employee of a Virginia sand operation was killed because mine management did not use safe procedures to move a slurry pipe, MSHA investigators have concluded.
Mine Manager Robert J. Devich, 64, died three days after being struck on the head when a slurry pipe fell off an excavator that was being operated by the president of the company. The accident occurred last March 27 at Baillio Sand Co., Inc.’s three-person intermittent Lord #5 Mine in Virginia Beach. The entirety of Devich’s 32 years of mining experience was with Baillio.
A fire last week at an Iowa sand mine that the company initially thought to have been minor remained a concern two days later.
The blaze, said to have been caused by a welding spark igniting a piece of equipment underground, broke out either Wednesday or Thursday morning at Pattison Sand Co.’s mine of the same name in Clayton County. At the time, the mine was evacuated, and company officials said they expected the mine to resume operations within 36 to 48 hours, after MSHA had completed its investigation. There were no injuries.
A North Carolina company has agreed to pay a $1.5 million penalty for hiring people who aren't authorized to work in the U.S.
MSHA will be required to set up a fire prevention course and the federal government will pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the widows of two West Virginia miners killed in an underground coal mine fire more than eight years ago.
Miners were evacuated from an Iowa sand mine after a welding spark ignited a piece of mining equipment underground.
No one was injured in the 7:45 a.m. incident Thursday at Pattison Sand Co., according to Beth Regan, the company’s public relations coordinator, KWWL TV reported. The mine has been shut down pending an investigation by MSHA. The company said it expected to resume operations within 36 to 48 hours.
Pattison could not be reached for further comment Friday morning, and MSHA did not immediately respond to a request for information.
MSHA, OSHA and NIOSH have all issued alerts to employers to protect their employees against heat-related illnesses during the summer months. Read more »
A West Virginia man could get up to three years in prison after admitting to submitting false tax returns in a scheme that involved at least nine other individuals.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) has rejected MSHA’s request for review by the five-member Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission of a dispute between the judge and MSHA over settlement language in the Mine Act.
In an order July 1, ALJ William Moran also certified upon his own motion that his previous rulings rejecting a settlement proposed by the agency involve a controlling question of law and that review should proceed immediately so as to advance the final disposition of the case.
Enforcement Concern Shadows MSHA’s Walk and Talk
Write ‘em High, Inspectors Told
Facts Carry the Day in Litigation, Attorney Says
Documenting Inspections is Key
Kohler Bids Farewell to Productive Career at NIOSH
Research Chief Returning to Academia
Accolades, Well Wishes from Colleagues
Joe Main, Others Praise Kohler
Noteworthy Civil Penalty Cases
MSHA, ALJs Tussle over Settlement Authority
Both Sides Claim Jurisdiction to Set Terms
24 Companies Hold One-Third of MSHA Penalty Debt
Most Scofflaws from Appalachia
10 a.m., July 22, 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
July 29-31, Lakeview Resort and Conference Center, Morgantown, WV
Aug 4-7, Convention Center, Lexington , KY
Current Regulatory Agenda
Proposed (P) Final (F)
(DFR) Direct Final Rule
(F) Prox Detect Devices: CMMs Jun '14
(P) Fees for Product Testing Aug. '14
(P) Civil Penalties May '14
(P) Prox Detect Devices UG Sep. '14
(F) Update NAICS Jun '14
(F) Confined Space Construction Aug '14
(F) Slips, Trips, Falls Oct '14
(F) Improve Injury Tracking Mar '15
(P) Employers' Rptg. Obligation Aug '14
(P) Beryllium Jul '14
(P, DFR) Eye, Face Protection Sep. '14
- Coal 8
- Aggregates 6
- Other M/NM 8
- Coal 20
- Aggregates 12
- Other M/NM 9
- Coal 20
- Aggregates 10
- Other M/NM 6
- Coal 21
- Aggregates 8
- Other M/NM 8